Ivelisse Diaz headshot

Ivelisse Diaz

Make a Wave Recipient

Ivelisse "Bombera de Corazon™" Diaz was born and raised in Humboldt Park, Chicago’s Puerto Rican barrio. Ivelisse’s journey into the compelling world of Bomba began in 1993, at the age of six, at Segundo Ruiz Belvis Cultural Center (SRBCC). She was mentored by her uncle Eli Samuel Rodriguez, (co-founder of Grupo Yuba) and gained her start as a member of Yubitas (Grupo Yuba’s Youth Bomba group). As a member of Grupo Yuba, Ivelisse decided how important it was to keep the sounds of Bomba more than just alive in Chicago, but stronger than ever around the world. At 14 years old she was the lead vocalist on Grupo Yuba’s album Chicago Sabe a Bomba y Plena. With her plan in motion, Ivelisse began volunteering at SRBCC as a dance instructor, offering free community Bomba classes. As her passion for teaching grew, Ivelisse founded her own Bomba Dance School, called La Escuelita Bombera De Corazon™, in 2009. Today, Ivelisse is a co-founding member and lead vocalist in the well-known Bomba group, Bomba con Buya, based in the heart of the Puerto Rican community in Chicago. Ivelisse has traveled individually and with Buya to places like Seattle, San Francisco, Santa Ana, Detroit, as well as Puerto Rico, Mexico, and Ghana.

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